Buzzworthy Workshops

Monday, April 29, 2023

Eight workshops – focusing on various Buzzworthy BLUE HAWK initiatives – will be held Monday afternoon prior to the Meet & Greet.  This year we will have three tracks: Owners, HARDI and NextLevel Leadership Development. Sign up to attend through the conference registration form.

NOTE: Some workshops are concurrent. Be sure to check the times and only register for one workshop per time slot. 

Owners Track

Good, bad, and the ugly…how creating a data-driven culture is challenging and worth it.

2:30 PM – 3:15 PM

Moderator: Paul Guidice, CoMetrics
Panelists: Jay Epting, Epting Distributors: Rhonda Wight, RSC; Michael Riley, Riley Sales; and Spencer Atkins, Weathertech Distributing Company

WTF does “data-driven culture” actually mean? Why is it important for your business? How do you get there? Join CoMetrics’ CEO, Paul Giudice, as he leads a panel discussion on implementing data-driven decision-making. Using data to complement your intuition is a work in process. Think journey, not destination. Learn from fellow BLUE HAWK members on how they use data (including Benchmark BLUE data) in their organizations. Where have they failed, learned, and thrived?

ESOP, you say? 

3:30 PM – 4:15 PM

Moderator: Darrell Smith, Vice President, Prairie Capital Advisors
Panelists: Lauren Roberts, cfm Distributors; Mark Shepherd, Southern Refrigeration; and Brandon Johnson, Mountainland Supply Company

Dive into ESOP as succession planning option with our panel on ESOPs (Employee Stock Ownership Plans). Discover how ESOPs provide a unique and effective strategy for ownership transition. Gain insights into empowering employees, securing the company’s legacy, and ensuring a seamless succession plan for lasting success from companies who have been through the process.

Growing Forward: BLUE HAWK’s BLUEprint for M&A Success 

4:30 PM – 5:30 PM

Moderator: Lance Rantala, BLUE HAWK

Unlock the future of your business! Join our exclusive session for owners where top BLUE HAWK Members reveal their acquisition strategy and approach to purchasing independent HVACR wholesalers. Explore potential collaborations and stay informed in a rapidly evolving market. Learn from Members who expanded through the Growing Forward Acquisition Program. Seize this opportunity to shape your business’s and co-op’s future. Don’t miss out on this invaluable opportunity – secure your spot now! 


Making Sense of 2024

2:30 PM – 3:15 PM

Speakers: Alex Ayers, VP of Government Affairs, HARDI
& Tim Fisher, Director of Market Intelligence, HARDI

2024 Pre-orders have been in for months and hopefully everything you ordered is in and already being sold.  What should you expect the rest of the 2024 cooling season and into the full-blown A2L transition?  This session will analyze the most recently-available data and overlay the current status of the A2L transition to help distributors better plan and forecast for the second half of 2024.  We will provide an outline of what good performance is shaping up to look like in 2024 so you can benchmark your company and put it on a path towards share-gaining performance into a pivotal 2025

Distributor Profitability in the Midst of Lingering Inflation, Easing Demand, and Yet Another Product Transitions

3:30 PM – 4:15 PM

Speaker: Zak Perge, VP of Distribution Strategies, HARDI

Distributors’ SG&A costs have been on the steady rise while the historic pace of business in 2022 continues to regress to the norm.  What does good distributor profitability look like in this environment and what should distributors be aiming for the rest of 2024?  HARDI will break down operational and financial benchmarks to review how top-performing distributors are navigating these challenging times.

The Real Key to Scale: Talent Development & Performance Management

4:30 PM – 5:15 PM

Speaker: Stella Gary-Keane, Vice President of Talent and Development, HARDI

Since the pandemic, scale has proven to be a powerful tool in terms of purchasing, logistics, and technology, however distributors of all sizes continue to struggle scaling their ability to develop, replicate, and recruit top talent and performance.  HARDI will outline the keys to a scalable and sustainable talent and professional development model that distributors of all sizes can implement.  Any leader of people should attend this session to bring back these keys to long-term growth and success.  Distributors will appreciate this simple, straightforward outline so you know precisely what needs to be done once you return home.

NextLevel Leadership Development Track

Why should I do Business with You?

2:30 PM – 3:15 PM

Speaker: Dr. Norm Clark, Texas A&M

Unlock the secrets to marketing success in this concise presentation. Learn to craft a compelling value proposition that answers the question, “Why should I do business with you?” Learn why it’s essential to maintain a consistent message and distinguish yourself from competitors. Gain practical insights to elevate your marketing strategy and captivate your audience, setting your brand apart in a crowded market.

Sales Management & Team Development

3:30 PM – 5:15 PM
(note: this session is an extended session to allow for a deeper dive into the topic)

Speakers: Dr. Norm Clark, Texas A&M

Sharpen your Sales Management and Team Development skills, while exploring the pivotal role of distribution outlook in optimizing sales strategies. Delve into talent development, providing clear direction, and conducting effective team assessments. Uncover the transformative power of empowerment in fostering a high-performance sales team. Elevate your  leadership skills.

What is the NextLevel Leadership Development Program?

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NextLevel Leadership Development Program

BLUE HAWK introduced the program during the 2023 Buzzworthy Workshops in Austin. We launched our first two workshops at the Fall Advisory Forum and Winter Summit to excellent reviews. This program aims to help the up-and-coming leaders in your company grow and develop new leadership/business skills. We will focus on educational and networking (in-person and virtual) opportunities as we build the program. We will expand the program to include mentor/mentee relationships as it matures. Ensure all your NextLevel Leaders are signed up for the program to receive more information and get the most from the program.